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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 07/21/2021

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in MLB. Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Tampa Bay hosts Baltimore at 12:10 PM ET. The Rays have won two of their last three games after a 9-3 victory on Tuesday. The Orioles had their three-game winning streak end with the loss. Michael Wacha pitches for Tampa Bay against Keegan Akin of the Orioles. The Rays are a -165 money line favorite with a total of 8 (all odds from DraftKings). San Diego plays at Atlanta in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader at 12:20 PM ET. The Braves have won two of their last three games with their 2-1 win on Tuesday. The Padres have lost four of their last six. San Diego pitches Chris Paddack against the Braves’ Kyle Muller. The Padres are a -160 money line road favorite with an over/under of 7.5. The New York Mets conclude their road trip to Cincinnati at 12:35 PM ET. The Reds ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 win on Tuesday. The Mets have lost four of their last six games. Chris Paddack pitches for the Mets against Jeff Hoffman of the Reds. New York is a -135 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. Milwaukee hosts Kansas City at 2:10 PM ET. The Royals ended a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday. The Brewers had their three-game winning streak end with the loss. Milwaukee pitches Eric Lauer against Kansas City’s Brad Keller. The Brewers are a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5. Seattle visits Colorado at 3:10 PM ET. The Mariners have won three of four after their 6-4 victory against the Rockies yesterday. Colorado has lost three of their last four games. The Rockies pitch Austin Gomber against a Seattle pitcher yet to be determined. The Mariners are a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 12.Pittsburgh visits Arizona at 3:40 PM ET. The Diamondbacks have won three in a row after an 11-6 win last night. The Pirates have lost three in a row. Arizona pitches Madison Bumgarner against a Pittsburgh starting pitcher yet to be named. The Diamondbacks are a -130 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.The second game of the Padres/Braves doubleheader takes place at 5:20 PM ET. Reiss Knehr pitches for San Diego against Bryse Wilson of Atlanta. The New York Yankees host Philadelphia at 7:05 PM ET. The Yankees have won three in a row after a 6-4 win against the Phillies on Tuesday. Philadelphia had their two-game winning streak end with the loss. Asher Wojciechowski takes the ball for New York against a starting pitcher yet to be determined for the Phillies. The Yankees are a -155 money line favorite. Washington plays at home against Miami at 7:05 PM ET. The Nationals won their third in a row with their 6-3 victory against the Marlins yesterday. Miami has lost four in a row. Washington pitches Erick Fedde against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the Marlins. The Nationals are a -115 money line favorite with a total of 8.5.Boston plays at Toronto at 7:07 PM ET. Their contest yesterday got postponed. The Red Sox’s Garrett Richards is expected to have his start pushed back against a rested Robbie Ray for the Blue Jays. Detroit plays at home against Texas at 7:10 PM ET. The Tigers have won five in a row after their 4-1 victory against the Rangers yesterday. Texas has lost seven straight. Matt Manning pitches for Detroit against Jordan Lyles of the Rangers. The Tigers are a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.The Chicago White Sox are at home against Minnesota at 8:10 PM ET. The White Sox have won four of five with their 9-5 victory against the Twins Tuesday. Minnesota has lost five of their last six. Chicago pitches Dylan Cease against Minnesota’s Michael Pineda. The White Sox are a -145 money line favorite with a total of 9.Houston plays at home against Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros have won four of their last six games after a 9-3 victory against the Indians yesterday. Cleveland has lost three of five. Lance McCullers pitches for Houston against Eli Morgan of the Indians. The Astros are a -250 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. St. Louis hosts the Chicago Cubs on ESPN at 8:15 PM ET. The Cardinals had their three-game winning streak end with a 7-6 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday. Chicago ended a two-game losing streak with the victory. The Cardinals pitch Adam Wainwright against the Cubs Kyle Hendricks. St. Louis is a -125 money line favorite with a total of 8.The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET. The Giants have won five of seven after their 6-5 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday. Julio Urias pitches for Los Angeles against Logan Webb of San Francisco. The Dodgers are a -185 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.

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MLB Baseball: Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021

by Al McMordie

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays Prediction, Odds and Preview - 07/20/2021Game Time: 7:07 pm ET, Tuesday, July 20, 2021Venue:  Sahlen Field, Buffalo, New YorkWhere to Watch:  SportsnetSeason-to-Date Record:Boston Red Sox:  56-38 (1st, American League East)Toronto Blue Jays:  48-42 (3rd, American League East)Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -155; Over/Under:  10.5 runsBet365:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -145; Over/Under 10.5 runsBetRivers:  Moneyline odds:  Blue Jays -150; Over/Under 10.5 runsKey Injuries:Boston:  Danny Santana (quad) Probable; Marwin Gonzalez (hamstring) Out; Christian Arroyo (hamstring) OutToronto:  Corey Dickerson (foot) OutRecent Lineups:Boston Red Sox:Hernandez (2B)Verdugo (LF)Martinez (DH)Bogaerts (SS)Devers (3B)Renfroe (RF)Duran (CF)Vazquez (C)Arroyo (1B)Toronto Blue Jays:Semien (2B)Bichette (SS)Guerrero, Jr. (1B)Springer (CF)Hernandez (LF)Grichuk (RF)Biggio (3B)Gurriel, Jr. (DH)McGuire (C)Statistical Leaders:Boston Red Sox:Batting Average:  Bogaerts (.321)Hits:  Bogaerts (105)Home Runs:  Devers (22)RBI:  Devers (74)Stolen Bases:  Vazquez (8)Wins:  Eovaldi (9)Saves:  Barnes (19)ERA:  Whitlock (1.38)Toronto Blue Jays:Batting Average:  Guerrero, Jr. (.332)Hits:  Guerrero, Jr. (108)Home Runs:  Guerrero, Jr. (31)RBI:  Guerrero, Jr. (78)Stolen Bases:  Bichette (12)Wins:  Ryu (9)Saves:  Romano (7)ERA:  Romano (1.93)Managers:Boston Red Sox:  Alex Cora (3rd season)Toronto Blue Jays:  Charlie Montoyo (3rd season)Recent Form:The Boston Red Sox lost two of three games last weekend at the New York Yankees, and have dropped six of eight, overall.  Still, Boston is 56-38 (+12.7 games on the moneyline) on the MLB season, and sits in first place in the AL East standings, with a half-game lead over the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays.  If you've been betting on Boston this season, you've made a lot of money, especially given that the Red Sox odds to win the AL East coming into the season were long!  The Red Sox have a balanced home and away record this season, as they are 28-19 at Fenway Park, and also 28-19 on the road.  In the Red Sox’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Sunday, starter Martin Perez lasted just 4 innings, as he gave up 3 runs and 5 hits, including a home run to Gleyber Torres.  The Yankees’ starter, Jameson Taillon, went 5 1/3 innings to earn the win, and gave up just 4 hits.  For the game, Boston managed just five hits, and left 9 men on base.The Toronto Blue Jays swept the 3-game series vs. the Texas Rangers over the weekend, and extended their win streak to 4 games with a 10-0 shutout win on Sunday.  Steven Matz threw 5 scoreless innings, while the Blue Jays belted out 8 hits, including Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.’s 11th home run in the 1st inning, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s 31st round tripper in the 2nd.  The Blue Jays have won 15 of their last 22 games, and are 48-42 (+0.1 games on the moneyline) on the season.  Toronto is currently in 3rd place in the AL East, ahead of the Yankees by 1 game, and the Baltimore Orioles by 19 games.The Red Sox have played 6 unders and 3 overs (with 1 push) over their last 10 games.  And the Red Sox’s Over/Under record is 43-48-3 this season.The Blue Jays have played 4 of their last 6 games under the total, and their Over/Under record this season is 43-46-1. The two teams opened the series last night in a clash which pitted Boston's Nick Pivetta vs. Toronto's Ross Stripling.  The Blue Jays odds were -124 in that game, with a total of 10.5, and Boston won that affair in a blowout to snap their losing streak, and Toronto's winning streak.  After tonight's game, the AL East rivals will meet on Wednesday night to conclude this 3-game series.Series History:The Red Sox and Blue Jays have met 9 times since April, with Boston winning 5 of the 9 games (and 5 of the 9 going under the total).  Over the last 3 seasons, Boston is 21-17 vs the Blue Jays (including 10-6 at Toronto), and the Over/Under record is 20-17-1 (including 9-6-1 at Toronto).  Statistical Comparison:The Red Sox’s strength is on the offensive side, as they rank 5th in Major League Baseball with 5.0 runs per game; 4th in Batting Average (.257) -- with Xander Bogaerts leading the way at .321 -- and 11th in On Base Percentage (.321).  Boston’s pitching ranks 14th with an ERA of 4.11.  Similarly, the Blue Jays have one of the best slugging offenses in MLB.  Toronto is scoring 5.21 runs per game (3rd), while hitting .265 (2nd) and having an On Base Percentage of .328 (7th).  Like Boston, Toronto’s pitching is middle-of-the-pack, with a 3.89 ERA (12th).Red Sox vs Blue Jays Game Preview:The Red Sox will hand the ball to veteran RHP Garrett Richards on Tuesday.  Richards is 5-5 on the season, and comes into Tuesday's game off a win on July 9 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Red Sox won that game, 11-5, behind a 5-inning, 7-hit outing from Richards.  Richards has done his best work on the road this season, where he has a 3-2 record, with a 1.48 WHIP, which compares favorably to his overall marks of 4.91 and 1.68.  This will be the fourth time Richards has faced the Blue Jays in 2021, as he's 1-1 in those three prior games, and has given up 10 earned runs, 22 hits and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings.  For his career, Richards' ERA vs. Toronto is 5.23, while his WHIP is a poor 1.76.Toronto will start rookie RHP Alek Manoah on Tuesday night here at Sahlen Field, in Buffalo (the Blue Jays' home games have been split between Buffalo and Dunedin thus far).  Manoah will be making his second career start vs. Boston.  In his first appearance vs the Red Sox, on June 14, he pitched very well, and gave up just one run, four hits and one walk over six innings.  The Red Sox won the game the last time he pitched against them, 2-1, so Manoah would like to avenge that defeat tonight.  After the Blue Jays won his first three career starts, they've alternated wins and losses since, including a 7-1 defeat at Tampa Bay on July 9.  Still, his numbers are impressive for a rookie, as he has a 2.90 ERA over eight starts, with a terrific 1.06 WHIP.  And he's also done his best work at home (2.20 ERA; 1.04 WHIP).Notable quotes:Alex Cora (after Sunday's 9-1 loss to the Yankees):  We haven't hit.  We've been chasing pitches.Charlie Montoya (after Sunday's 10-0 victory vs. Texas):  The only way you can get winning streaks is if your starters give you a chance....It's all about pitching and the starters were outstanding.Trends:Boston:The Red Sox are 21-11 (+15.3 games on the moneyline) as an underdog this season.The Red Sox are 14-5 in Garrett Richards' nighttime starts the past two years.The Red Sox are 22-12 (+9 games on the moneyline) vs. AL East division rivals this year.Toronto:The Blue Jays are 88-109 (minus 16.6 games on the moneyline) at night.The Blue Jays are 66-51 (minus 7.1 games on the moneyline) as a favorite.The Blue Jays are 37-27 (+8 games on the moneyline) vs. right-handed starters.Blue Jays Red Sox Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Tuesday's game is Tor 6 Bos 3 Don't miss our champion handicappers free picks and expert baseball picks today.  Get off to a hot start this week, and get all of the daily expert picks on tonight's slate of MLB games.  And if you enjoyed this Boston Red Sox vs Toronto Blue Jays prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and previews.

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2021 CFL Preview: Edmonton Elks

by Sean Murphy

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

It's the start of a new era in Edmonton as the franchise formerly known as the Eskimos becomes the Elks. After managing only eight wins in 2019, they'll be looking to make their presence known in a crowded West Division this season. Here's a look at what to expect.Of course, the big change for the Elks comes on the sidelines with Jamie Elizondo replacing Jason Maas as head coach. Elizondo will also serve as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach as he looks to reignite an offense led by veteran QB Trevor Harris. Elizondo already has a good relationship with Harris from their years together in Ottawa. The Elks offense is well-positioned to put up big numbers this season with one of the league's best wide receiving corps' featuring Derel Walker, Greg Ellingson and Armanti Edwards, with the latter coming over from the Argos to add another level to this passing game. Replacing C.J. Gable at running back will be no easy feat but James Wilder is an experienced back capable of shouldering the load. He'll only be asked to do enough to keep opposing defenses honest and relieve some of the pressure on Harris. I certainly don't expect the Elks ground game to be among the league's best. Defensively, the Elks will have a new man in charge in coordinator Noel Thorpe. Again, there's plenty of continuity there as Thorpe worked with Elizondo the last two seasons in Ottawa. Standout defensive tackle Almando Sewell will need to replaced after he bolted for Montreal. There's plenty of returning talent, however, and pass-rusher Kwaku Boateng is a star in the making after serving as Edmonton's nominee for most outstanding defensive player in 2019. Edmonton has just one returning starter in the secondary, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as it brought in a number of key free agent acquisitions to bolster its pass defense. All indications are that the new-look secondary has been making life extremely difficult on the offense during training camp. If the new faces on defense can mesh in short order, the Elks could turn out to be one of the league's biggest surprises in 2021. Most books have the Elks priced around 9-1 to win the Grey Cup. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB, NBA and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/20/2021

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features action in the NBA, MLB, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.The finals of the NBA playoffs continue, with Milwaukee hosting Phoenix on ABC at 9:05 PM ET. The Bucks took a 3-2 lead in this series with their 123-119 upset victory as a 3.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Suns have lost the last three games after winning Games 1 and 2 on their home court. Milwaukee is a 5-point favorite to win the NBA title tonight, with the total set at 222 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Fifteen games are on the MLB docket. Oakland plays at home against the Los Angeles Angels at 3:37 PM ET as a -150 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. James Kaprielian pitches for the A’s against Jose Suarez of the Angels. Milwaukee is at home against Kansas City at 4:10 PM ET as a -165 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Brewers’ Brett Anderson pitches against the Royals’ Mike Minor.Two games start at 7:05 PM ET. Miami visits Washington as a -120 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. Trevor Rogers pitches for the Marlins against Paolo Espino. Philadelphia plays at New York against the Yankees as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 9. The Phillies’ Aaron Nola faces the Yankees’ Domingo German. Toronto is at home against Boston at 7:07 PM ET as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 10.5. Alek Manoah pitches for the Blue Jays against Garrett Richards of the Red Sox. Three games start at 7:10 PM ET. Detroit hosts Texas as a -155 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. The Tigers’ Tarik Skubal pitches against the Rangers Dane Dunning. Cincinnati plays at home against the New York Mets as a -140 money line favorite. Wade Miley of the Reds goes against Robert Stock of the Mets. Tampa Bay is at home against Baltimore as a -210 money line favorite with an over/under of 8. The Rays send out Shane McClanahan against the Orioles’ John Means. San Diego plays at Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET as a -140 money line road favorite with a total of 10. After last night’s game got postponed, Kyle Muller will have his start bumped to tonight. The Padres have yet to name their starter pitcher after Yu Darvish was scheduled to pitch yesterday. Two games start at 8:10 PM ET. Houston hosts Cleveland as a -180 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Luke Garcia pitches for the Astros against Triston McKenzie of the Indians. The Chicago White Sox are at home against Minnesota as a -170 money line favorite with a total of 9. The White Sox’s Dallas Keuchel pitches against the Twins’ Bailey Ober. The Chicago Cubs play at St. Louis at 8:15 PM ET as a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Trevor Williams pitches for the Cubs against a starting pitcher yet to be named for the Cardinals. Colorado plays at home against Seattle at 8:40 PM ET as a -180 money line favorite with a total of 10.5. The Rockies’ German Marquez pitches against the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales. Pittsburgh visits Arizona at 9:40 PM ET as a -110 money line favorite. Tyler Anderson pitches for the Pirates against a pitcher yet to be determined for the Diamondbacks. The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET as a -145 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Giants pitch Alex Wood against a pitcher yet to be named for the Dodgers. The CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes the group stage with four matches. Costa Rica plays Jamaica on FS1 at 7 PM ET as a -0.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2 (all Gold Cup odds from MGM). Suriname faces Guadeloupe on FS2 at 7 PM ET as a -1 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5.Qatar plays Honduras on FS1 at 9 PM ET in a pick ‘em match up with a total of 2.5. Panama is a -3 goal favorite against Grenada on FS2 at 9 PM ET with an over/under of 3.5.

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2021 CFL Preview: B.C. Lions

by Sean Murphy

Monday, Jul 19, 2021

I'll be previewing all eight CFL teams in the lead-up to the long-awaited 2021 season. First up is the B.C. Lions, who will be looking to climb out of the West Division basement. The Leos are coming off a disastrous 2019 campaign that saw them win just five games and finish in last place in the West Division. That outcome was even more disappointing when you consider the splash the Lions made prior to that season, acquiring star quarterback Mike Reilly. Unfortunately the Lions couldn't keep Reilly upright with an offensive line that served as nothing more than a swinging door. The good news is B.C. made a concerted effort to upgrade its o-line this offseason, acquiring Ryker Mathews from the defending champion Tiger-Cats. Reilly is back under center with a new contract and has an opportunity for a 'do-over' of sorts after the 2020 campaign was wiped out by Covid-19.The pieces are in place for the Lions offense to take a big step forward with the addition of RB Shaq Cooper, who will be given the chance to take on a more substantial role in an offense after departing Edmonton, not to mention the presence of elite WR Bryan Burnham, who racked up career-highs in both receiving yards (1,492) and touchdowns (11) back in 2019. Burnham leads a talented group of wide receivers that didn't reach their full potential due to Reilly's inability to find time in the pocket two years ago. Keep an eye on the Lions special teams early in the season as that unit should make its presence known with Lucky Whitehead back to anchor a group that was among the league's best in 2019. Special teams is one area that I feel is rarely properly factored in when it comes to CFL odds. Kick return touchdowns became commonplace in the 2019 season and I would anticipate more of the same here in 2021. Defensively, B.C. needs some work but has the potential to be better should 2020 first overall draft pick Jordan Williams turn out to be the player (and leader) the Lions expect him to be. Unfortunately the Lions 'D' won't have the benefit of time as it tries to come together and contend with the likes of the Stampeders and Roughriders - two of the league's most potent offensive squads - which both reside in the West Division. The Lions are a longshot to win the Grey Cup, priced around 10-1 at most books. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB Previews and Odds - 07/19/2021

by Big Al Staff

Monday, Jul 19, 2021

The Monday sports card features action in MLB. Thirteen games are on the MLB docket. The Chicago White Sox host Minnesota in the opening game of their seven-inning doubleheader at 5:10 PM ET. The White Sox have seven of their last eight games after a 4-0 victory against Houston yesterday. Minnesota has lost three in a row after a 7-0 loss at Detroit on Sunday. The Twins are set to pitch Griffin Jax in the opener, according to DraftKings, although there are some reports that Jose Berrios will take the ball in the opening game. Lance Lynn will pitch the opener for the White Sox. Chicago is a -220 money line favorite with the total set at 7 (all odds from DraftKings). Miami visits Washington at 7:05 PM ET. The Marlins have lost five of their last seven games after a 7-4 loss at Philadelphia yesterday. The Nationals ended their five-game losing streak with an 8-7 victory against San Diego on Sunday. Neither starting pitcher has been named yet for this game. Toronto is at home against Boston at 7:07 PM ET. The Blue Jays won their third straight game in a 10-0 shutout victory against Texas yesterday. The Red Sox have lost four of five with their 9-1 loss in New York to the Yankees last night. Boston pitches Nick Pivetta against the Blue Jays Ross Stripling.Tampa Bay plays at home against Baltimore at 7:10 PM ET. The Rays won their second game in their last three with a 7-5 win at Atlanta yesterday. The Orioles has won two in a row after a 5-0 win in Kansas City on Sunday. Spenser Watkins pitches for Baltimore against Ryan Yarbrough of the Rays. Tampa Bay is a -225 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Texas travels to Detroit at 7:10 PM ET. The Rangers have lost four in a row. The Tigers have won three straight games. Texas pitches Kyle Gibson against Detroit’s Casey Mize. The Rangers are a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.Cincinnati hosts the New York Mets at 7:10 PM ET. The Reds lost their third game in a row in an 8-0 loss to Milwaukee yesterday. The Mets ended a three-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory at Pittsburgh on Sunday. New York pitches Jared Eickhoff against the Reds Vladimir Gutierrez. Cincinnati is a -130 money line favorite with a total of 10.San Diego visits Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET. Both teams have lost three of their last four games after losing yesterday. Yu Darvish pitches for the Padres against Kyle Muller of the Braves. San Diego is a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.Houston plays at home against Cleveland at 8:10 PM ET. The Astros have lost five of their last seven games. The Indians have won five of their last six games with their 4-2 victory against Oakland yesterday. Cleveland sends out Jean Carlos Mejia against the Astros Luke Zack Greinke. Houston is a -240 money line favorite with a total of 9. The Chicago Cubs visit St. Louis at 8:10 PM ET. The Cubs ended their two-game winning streak with a 6-4 loss at Arizona yesterday. The Cardinals have lost four of their last six games after a 2-1 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. Jake Woodford pitches for St. Louis against Alec Mills of Chicago. The Cubs are a -115 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9.The second game of the Twins/White Sox game is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET. Chicago is a -115 money line favorite with a total of 7.Arizona plays at home against Pittsburgh at 9:40 PM ET. The Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak with their win against the Cubs. The Pirates snapped their three-game losing streak with their loss to the Mets on Sunday. Pittsburgh pitches Chase De Jong against Arizona’s Caleb Smith. The Diamondbacks are a -135 money line favorite with an over/under of 9.5.The Los Angeles Angeles travel to Oakland at 9:40 PM ET. The Angels have lost four of their last six games after a 7-4 loss at Seattle yesterday. The A’s have dropped to games in a row. Cole Irvin pitches for Oakland against Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. Los Angeles is a -120 money line favorite with a total of 8.5.The Los Angeles Dodgers are at home against San Francisco at 10:10 PM ET. The Dodgers had their four-game winning streak end in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings at Colorado on Sunday. The Giants have lost two games in a row. Los Angeles pitches Tony Gonsolin against the Giants’ Kevin Gausman. The Dodgers are a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

The Sunday sports card features action in MLB and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.Sixteen games are on the MLB docket. The New York Mets visit Pittsburgh at 1:05 PM ET as a -145 money line road favorite with the total set at 8.5 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise). The Mets pitch Taijuan Walker against the Pirates’ J.T. Brubaker. Toronto hosts Texas at 1:07 PM ET as a -240 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5 in the first game of their seven-inning doubleheader. Hyun Jin Ryu pitches for the Blue Jays against Kolby Allard of the Rangers. Two games start at 1:10 PM ET. Minnesota plays at Detroit as a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 10.5. The Twins pitch J.A. Happ against the Tigers Wily Peralta. Milwaukee completes their road trip at Cincinnati as a -140 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. Corbin Burnes pitches for the Brewers against the Reds’ Sonny Gray. Tampa Bay plays at Atlanta at 1:20 PM ET in a pick ‘em with both teams priced at -110 with a total of 9. The Rays pitch Rich Hill against the Braves’ Drew Smyly. Philadelphia hosts Miami at 2:05 PM ET as a -140 money line favorite with an over/under of 7.5. Zack Wheeler pitches for the Phillies against a starting pitcher for the Marlins yet to be determined. Two games start at 2:10 PM ET. The Chicago White Sox plays at home against Houston as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 8. Carlos Rodon pitches for the White Sox against Framber Valdez of the Astros. Kansas City hosts Baltimore as a -155 money line favorite with an over/under of 10. The Royals pitch Carlos Hernandez against the Orioles’ Matt Harvey. San Francisco visits St. Louis at 2:15 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with a total of 8.5. Johnny Cueto pitches for the Giants against Wade LeBlanc of the Cardinals. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Colorado at 3:10 PM ET as a -170 money line road favorite with an over/under of 12. The Dodgers pitch David Price against the Rockies’ Jon Gray. Washington is at home against San Diego at 3:35 PM ET as a -105 money line favorite at BetOnline with a total of 8. Max Scherzer pitches for the Nationals against Joe Musgrove of the Padres.Two games start at 4:07 PM ET. The Los Angeles Angels play at home against Seattle as a -130 money line favorite with a total of 8.5. Patrick Sandoval pitches for the Angels against Logan Gilbert of the Mariners. Oakland hosts Cleveland as a -165 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The A’s pitch Chris Bassitt against the Indians’ Zach Plesac. The Chicago Cubs play at Arizona at 4:10 PM ET as a -120 money line road favorite with a total of 9. Zach Davies pitches for the Cubs against Merrill Kelly of the Diamondbacks. Toronto hosts Texas in the second game of their doubleheader at 5:07 PM ET as a -187 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Stephen Matz pitches for the Blue Jays against Mike Foltynewiz of the Rangers. The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox on ESPN at 7:08 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with a total of 9.5. Jameson Taillon of the Yankees pitches against Martin Perez of the Red Sox. The CONCACAF Gold Cup continues with four matches to conclude action in Group A and B. The United States plays Canada on Fox at 5 PM ET as a -0.75 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. The USMNT has won their first two matches in group play after a 6-1 victory over Martinique on Thursday. Les Rouges have won their first two matches in group play with their 4-1 victory against Haiti on Thursday. The winner of the game earns the top seed from Group B, with the Stars and Stripes getting the top seed from the group with a draw given the goal differential initial tie-breaker. The Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, hosts the match.Haiti plays Martinique on FS2 at 5 PM ET as a -0.75 goal line favorite with a total of 2.5. Pride is on the line with both these teams pointless after their first two matches. The match takes place at Toyota Stadium in Dallas. Mexico plays El Salvador on FS1 at 10 PM ET as a -1.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. El Tri comes off a 3-0 victory against Guatemala on Wednesday to give them four points. Los Cuzcatlecos are off a 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago, clinching their spot in the quarterfinals. Mexico needs a win to ensure their involvement in the quarterfinals. The Cotton Bowl in Dallas hosts the match. Trinidad and Tobago play Guatemala on FS2 at 10 PM ET in pick ‘em match with a total of 2. The Soca Warriors need a victory and a Mexico loss to then go to the goal-differential tie-breaker where they begin the day trailing by five goals to El Tri. Goals scored is the second tie-breaker if Trinidad and Tobago level the net goal differential after a win and Mexico loss to El Salvador. The Toyota Stadium in Dallas hosts the match.

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2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B Preview and Odds - 07/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group B Preview: Canada, Haiti, Martinique, United States.The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 10 stadiums throughout nine cities. The United States Men’s National Team is the favorite in Group B, priced at +170 pre-tournament (all odds from DraftKings). The Stars and Stripes come off a 3-2 victory in extra time against Mexico to claim the CONCACAF Nations League title last month. The USMNT won the Gold Cup for the seventh time in 2017. They finished in second place behind Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup.Manager Gregg Berhalter will be testing his B team at this event with the players that helped lift the trophy last month off to Europe to train with their professional teams. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, Werner Bremen’s Josh Sargent, and Manchester City’s Zack Steffan will not compete. Nineteen of the 23 players on Berhalter’s roster play on an MLS squad, led by Orlando City striker Daryl Dike. The Yanks enter this event on an 8-1-1 run in their last ten matches. They have not lost on home soil since an upset loss to Venezuela in a friendly on June 9th, 2019. In their last nine games played in the United States, the USMNT has scored 40 goals and has conceded only four times, with six clean sheets. FIFA ranks the USA at 20th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 22nd. Canada is priced at +1700 to win the tournament. Les Rouges won the Gold Cup in 2000, and they find themselves amidst a golden generation of talent. Canada has not lost to a team from the CONCACAF region since 2019. They have won six matches in a row with a 31 to 1 goal margin. Manager John Herman will be without two of his best players for this tournament. Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Lille’s Jonathan David are training with their professional teams. The Canucks have depth. Vancouver White Cap’s Lucas Cavallini and Turkish Super League star Cyle Larin lead a potent Canadian attack. Canada ranks 70th in the world by FIFA and 41st in the ELO ratings.Haiti has +10000 pre-tournament odds. Les Grenadiers reached the semifinals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup before losing to Mexico. They won their group in the first round of their World Cup qualifying matches before losing both legs of their playoff with Canada to advance to the second round last month. Manager Jean-Jacques Pierre is dealing with a COVID outbreak on his squad that made five players unavailable in their opening match against the United States. Haiti is led by forward Duckens Nazon who is the national team’s second all-time leading scorer with 29 goals. Columbus Crew forward Derrick Etienne, Jr. joins him in the attack on the wing. Les Grenadiers are ranked 83rd in the world by FIFA and 75th in the ELO ratings.Martinique had pre-tournament odds of +10000. Les Matinino will be playing for the first time since their CONCACAF Nations League matches in November of 2019. The Caribbean island nation has lost only once in their last five matches. Martinique will recall their narrow 3-2 loss to Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup to inspire confidence in this tournament. Manager Mario Bocaly’s squad has two players with international experience in Emmanuel Riviere and Kevin Fortune leading the attack. Fullback Patrick Burner has top-flight professional experience in France. As a non-member in FIFA, Les Matinino does not appear in their rankings. The ELO ratings place Martinique 101st in the world.

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2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group D Preview and Odds - 07/18/2021

by Big Al Staff

Sunday, Jul 18, 2021

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group D Preview: Grenada, Honduras, Panama, Qatar.The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 10 stadiums throughout nine cities. Group D is the most wide-open of the four groups in this competition, with no clear pre-tournament favorite. Qatar has the shortest price of the four teams to win the event at +1700 (all odds from DraftKings). The Maroon was a guest to participate in this North American tournament as preparation for their squad when they compete and host the 2021 World Cup next November. Most of the roster consists of club-level players in Qatar. Manager Felix Sanchez’s squad is led by forward Akram Afif, who has scored 19 goals in 64 caps for the national team. Forward Hassan Al-Haydos is the all-time leader in caps with 141. The Maroon entered the event with four straight victories from friendlies and World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA ranks Qatar 58th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 45th in the world. Honduras began the tournament with +2500 odds to lift the trophy. Los Catrachos competed in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups before not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Honduras then finished last in their group in the 2019 Gold Cup with only three points. They finished in third place in the CONCACAF Nations League that concluded last month. The squad’s most recent victory in regulation time is in 2019.Los Catrachos have an experienced back line led by Houston Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa. The 41-year-old captain is the national team’s all-time leader with 168 caps. Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia has 128 caps for the squad. FIFA ranks Honduras 67th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 58th. Panama began the event at +4000 pre-tournament odds to win. The Canal Men competed in the 2018 World Cup, where they lost all three of their matches. Panama has reached the knockout stage of every Gold Cup since 2005. They reached the semifinals in 2011 and 2015. The squad lost to Jamaica in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup. Manager Thomas Christiansen began his tenure last July. Only nine players remain from the 2018 World Cup roster. Former Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper has 114 caps for the national team. Defender Adolfo Machado plays in his fourth Gold Cup for the squad to add to his 90 caps. The Canal Men entered the tournament with eight international fixtures under their belt in 2021. They rank 78th in the world in the FIFA rankings and 70th in the ELO rating system. Grenada is the minnow of the group with +20000 pre-tournament odds. The Spice Boys have never won a group stage match in their two previous Gold Cup competitions, scoring just once in six games. Grenada failed to qualify for the last two Gold Cups. Manager Michael Findlay has an inexperienced squad with only two players in their thirties. Seven of the forwards are under the age of 25. Paradise’s Jamal Charles leads the attack with 14 goals in 25 career caps for the team. The Spice Boys rank 160th in the world by FIFA and 169th in the ELO ratings. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, MLB and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/17/2021

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Jul 17, 2021

 The Saturday sports card features action in the NBA, MLB, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.The NBA playoffs continue with Game 5 of the NBA finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns on ABC at 9:05 PM ET. Milwaukee evened this series at 2-2 with their 109-103 victory as a 4.5-point home favorite on Wednesday. The series moves back to Phoenix, where the Suns are a 4-point favorite with the total set at 219 (all odds from DraftKings unless indicated otherwise).Sixteen games are on the MLB slate. Four games are in the afternoon. Minnesota plays at Detroit in the opening game of their seven-inning doubleheader at 1:10 PM ET with Charlie Barnes making his MLB debut for the Twins against Jose Arena of the Tigers. Toronto hosts Texas at 3:07 PM ET as a -250 money line favorite with an over/under of 10. Hyun Jin Ryu of the Blue Jays pitches against Kolby Allard of the Rangers. Oakland plays at home against Cleveland on FS1 at 4:07 PM ET as a -158 money line favorite with a total of 8.5 at BetOnline. The A’s pitch Frankie Montas against the Indians’ Cal Quantrill. The Chicago Cubs continue their visit to Arizona at 4:10 PM ET as a -130 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8.5. Adbert Alzolay pitches for the Cubs against a pitcher yet to be named for the Diamondbacks.Miami plays at Philadelphia at 6:10 PM ET in pick ‘em matchup with both teams priced at -110 with a total of 10. The Marlins’ Ryan Thompson pitches against the Phillies’ Vincent Velasquez. Minnesota plays at Detroit in the second game of their doubleheader at 6:10 PM ET. Kenta Maeda pitches for the Twins against a Tigers pitcher yet to be determined. Two games are scheduled for 7:05 PM ET. The New York Mets are at Pittsburgh as a -170 money line road favorite with an over/under of 9. The Mets pitch Tylor Megill against the Pirates Wil Crowe. San Diego continues their road trip at Washington as a -135 money line road favorite with a total of 9.5. Blake Snell pitches for the Padres against Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. Two games start at 7:10 PM ET. Milwaukee is at Cincinnati as a -125 money line road favorite with an over/under of 8. The Brewers pitch Brandon Woodruff against the Reds’ Luis Castillo. Kansas City is at home against Baltimore pitching Brady Singer against an Orioles pitcher yet to be named. The national game on Fox at 7:15 PM ET offers three games for regional coverage. San Francisco plays at St. Louis as a -125 money line road favorite with a total of 8. The Giants pitch Anthony DeSclafani against Kwang Hyun Kim of the Cardinals. The Chicago White Sox host Houston as a -115 money line favorite with an over/under of 9. Lucas Giolito pitches for the White Sox against Jake Odorizzi of the Astros. Boston continues their road trip in New York against the Yankees with Nathan Eovaldi starting against Gerrit Cole. Tampa Bay plays at Atlanta at 7:20 PM ET in a pick ‘em matchup with a total of 8.5. Josh Fleming pitches for the Rays against the Braves Max Fried. The Los Angeles Dodgers play at Colorado at 8:10 PM ET with Walker Buehler facing Chi Chi Gonzalez. The Los Angeles Angels host Seattle at 9:07 PM ET as a -125 money line favorite with an over/under of 8.5. The Angels pitch Alex Cobb against the Mariners’ Yusei Kikuchi. The CONCACAF Gold Cup continues with two matches in Group D on FS1 at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. Qatar plays Grenada at 7:30 PM ET as a -2.5 goal line favorite with a total of 3.5. Honduras plays Panama at 10 PM ET as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.5. 

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2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C Preview and Odds - 07/17/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Jul 16, 2021

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group C Preview: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, Guadeloupe.The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 10 stadiums throughout nine cities. The Group C favorite is Costa Rica with a +1400 pre-tournament price (all odds from DraftKings). The Ticos reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup. After reaching the semifinals of the 2017 Gold Cup, Costa Rica lost in a penalty shootout to Mexico in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Gold Cup. They have reached the knockout quarterfinals stage of this tournament six straight times.The Ticos are winless in their last six matches in international play entering this event. They lost on penalty kicks again to Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League on June 3rd. Joel Campbell leads the attack with 19 goals in 99 caps for the team. Midfielders Celso Borges and Allan Cruz form the foundation in the midfield. Borges plays professionally in Spain, and Cruz plays for FC Cincinnati in the MLS. Paris Saint-German goalkeeper Keylor Navas is not on this roster as he prepares for the upcoming Ligue 1 season. FIFA ranks Costa Rica 50th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 51st. Jamaica was given +2500 pre-tournament odds to win the tournament. The Reggae Boyz have reached three straight semifinals in this competition with two-second place finishes in 2015 and 2017. Jamaica is unbeaten in their last nine group stage matches in the Gold Cup. The team goes into this event winless in their last four matches, although all four games were friendlies. Manager Theodore Whitmore aggressively recruits European professionals who meet the eligibility requirements to represent the Jamaican national team. This roster consists primarily of players who play in the MLS, with a few players who compete in Europe. The MLS’s Philadelphia Union is represented with three players in forward Cory Burke, defender Alvas Powell, and Andre Blake, who was named the top keeper in the league last season. Bayer Leverkusen wing Leon Bailey plays upfront. Miami FC midfielders Lamar Walker and Devon Williams patrol the middle of the field. The Reggae Boyz rank 45th in the world by FIFA and 61st in the ELO ratings.Suriname was listed with +2000 pre-tournament odds. The Natio is making its debut appearance in a Gold Cup competition, although they did compete in the 1985 CONCACAF Championship before the event changed its name. Suriname had won three straight matches this year by a 15-0 goal margin before losing to Canada, 4-0, in their most recent World Cup qualifying match on June 8th.Manager Dean Gorre has a roster dominated by players who play professionally in Europe. The Netherlands are well-represented, led by fullbacks Ridgeciano Haps and Dion Malone, and Ajax right back Sean Klaiber. Gleofilo Vlijter leans the attack after scoring ten goals in the CONCACAF Nations League for the Natio. FIFA ranks Suriname 136th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 130th. Guadeloupe had pre-tournament odds of +25000 to win the tournament. The Gwada Boys are competing in their first Gold Cup since 2011. Their claim to fame in this event was in 2007 when they lost to Mexico, 1-0, in the semifinals. They ride a six-game unbeaten streak with 23 goals scored after winning their qualifying match via penalty kicks against Guatemala on July 6th. Manager Jocelyn Angloma has assembled a young roster consisting of only three players that have at least ten caps international competition for the national team. Only eight players compete in a professional league. The Gwada Boys are not ranked by FIFA as a non-member. The ELO ratings place them 148th in the world.

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2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A Preview and Odds - 07/16/2021

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Jul 16, 2021

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 Group A Preview: El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place from July 10th through August 1st, with the finals in Las Vegas. The United States hosts all the games in 11 stadiums throughout ten cities. Mexico headlines Group A, the tournament favorite at +115 opening odds (all lines from DraftKings). Manager Gerardo Martino has assembled most of the nation’s top players to compete in this event. The notable exceptions on the roster this summer are forwards Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Raul Jimenez, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Mexico’s starting XI will still have Napoli’s Jesus Corona at forward, Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera, and Ajax defender Edson Alvarez. El Tri won the last Gold Cup competition in 2019. Their most recent competitive match was against the United States, where they lost by a 3-2 score in extra time in the finals of the CONCACAF Nations League on June 6th. Mexico is ranked 11th in the world by FIFA. The ELO ratings place them 15th. El Salvador opened the tournament with +6000 odds to win the event. La Selecta has finished in third place in their group in each of the last five Gold Cups, advancing to the knockout stage once. This group may be El Salvador’s best national team in years under manager Hugo Perez after a recent successful run in their World Cup qualifying matches. La Selecta enters the event with five victories in their last seven matches over a span where they scored 19 goals. They conceded only twice in their last seven matches, and they have seven clean sheets in their most recent 11 games. Seattle Sounders midfielder Alex Roldan offers a creative spark in the midfield. Toronto FC center back Eriq Zavaleta anchors the backline. FIFA ranks El Salvador 69th in the world. The ELO ratings place them 74th.Trinidad and Tobago had a +10000 price to win the tournament at the start of the event. The Soca Warriors qualified after defeating French Guinea in a shootout, 8-7, after their match on July 6th ended in a 1-1 score. Trinidad and Tobago finished with only one point in the group stage of the 2019 Gold Cup, where they were outscored by a 9 to 1 goal margin. They last earned a victory in a Gold Cup group stage match back in 2015 when they upset Mexico. Interim manager Angus Eve will place a special emphasis on this tournament after the Soca Warriors failed to advance to the second round of the World Cup qualifying matches. They entered this event unbeaten in their last six matches. Midfielder Khaleem Hyland leads the team with 32 caps. Columbus Crew striker Kevin Molino is the squad’s primary scoring threat. Trinidad and Tobago rank 103rd in the world by FIFA. The ELO ratings place them 107th. Guatemala was a late replacement the day before the tournament began after a COVID outbreak led to Curacao pulling out of the event. Los Chapines failed to qualify for the Gold Cup after a loss to Guadeloupe by a 10-9 margin in the penalty kick shootout when that game could not resolve a 1-1 deadlocked score. Guatemala is taking part in its first Gold Cup competition since 2015. Los Chapines have earned clean sheets in eight of their last nine matches heading into this tournament. They finished last in their group with one point in their 2015 Gold Cup matches. Guatemala ranks 127th in the world by FIFA and 88th in the ELO ratings.

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